Employer Retaliation in Maryland Workers’ Comp Cases

Under both state and federal law, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against the employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. These rules apply to employers across the board, to both the public and private sectors.

If you believe that you faced retaliation in a Maryland workplace, it is crucial to defend your legal rights. Thankfully, you do not have to go into the fight alone. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney could help you fight back against employer retaliation in Maryland workers’ comp cases.

Protections against Retaliation in Maryland

Generally speaking, a Maryland employer has the right to fire an employee at-will unless a contractual agreement prevents the firing. Under the at-will doctrine, an employer does not need a reason to terminate an employee.

There are exceptions to the Maryland at-will employment doctrine, however. Under the law, there exist some “public policy exceptions” that bar a firing if it violates the clear mandate of public policy. Because Maryland operates the workers’ compensation scheme within the states, courts have held that retaliating against a worker for filing a compensation claim violates public policy.

Examples of Retaliation

Not every form of retaliation from an employer involves the termination of employment. While this is arguably the most severe form, other types of punishment could also lead to a retaliation claim. Other examples of retaliation include:

  • Demotion
  • Passing over for promotions
  • A downgrade in seating or office space
  • Any other negative treatment based on protected conduct

When an employer retaliates against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim, it could take one or more of these forms. An experienced Maryland workers’ compensation attorney could help an employee pursue compensation through a retaliation lawsuit.

Proving a Maryland Retaliation Claim

Not every punitive act towards an employee leads to a viable retaliation claim. Any successful claim for retaliation requires proof of a causal link between the filing of the workers’ compensation claim and the employer’s punitive act. If a worker receives discipline or is fired for legitimate grounds following the filing of a workers’ compensation claim, a retaliation claim is unlikely to succeed.

However, few employers openly admit that they are retaliating against an employee due to a workers’ comp claim. Many of them use a pretext for a firing. When this occurs, a retaliation claim may still be viable.

At trial, the employee could use direct and indirect evidence to establish the causal link between their compensation claim and the actions of their employer. In many cases, e-mails recovered from the business owner or their managers could expose a plot to punish an employee for filing a claim for workers’ compensation. Indirect evidence of retaliation could involve a sudden change in the tone of an employee’s performance review before and after the filing of a claim.

Discuss Retaliation Claims with a Maryland Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you believe you are a victim of workplace retaliation after filing a workers’ compensation claim, you might be entitled to monetary damages. However, it is crucial to discuss your case with experienced legal counsel to determine if it is viable.

With the help of a Maryland workers’ compensation lawyer, you might be able to prevail on a retaliation claim. Schedule your initial consultation right away to learn more.